I find myself somewhat speechless - which makes it incredibly difficult to blog about a topic when you're rendered speechless. Frustration is usually what prompts my posts although necessity and requests have driven quite a number as well. I try to give each post the "24 hour rule". I will write the post and then let it marinate for 24 hrs before I re-read it, make necessary changes and post. This allows me to tamper down my rants from a boil to a simmer before releasing them to the universe.
Today I'm going to just wing it and see if I can potentially get some response to my quandary.
Recently a colleague of mine had an outstanding candidate turned down solely because this candidate did not carry a college degree. The candidate met and exceeded all the other requirements and this candidate also had some very rare and difficult to come by industry certifications - however since he/she didn't have a college degree the client refused to even speak to him/her. This is a candidate with over 15 years of industry experience, not to mention an exceptional track record and solid references.
Over the years I've had similar situations with some of my own candidates as well. These decisions leave me flabbergasted. In an industry like Healthcare IT where the market is tight and highly experienced candidates are difficult to find, particularly candidates that are open to relocation, I sit with my jaw dropped - wondering what the client (s) are thinking. How can a piece of paper be that important? To clarify I am not referring to requirements for a medical degrees - some positions require a BSN or other medical degree and that is completely acceptable, these are clients that don't really care what the Bachelors degree is in - just that the person has one.
For instance, XYZ Hospital calls their staffing vendor and explains they have a need for an Epic Optime / Anesthesia Certified Analyst with at least 2 years of build experience etc and part of the job description includes - Bachelor's Degree Required - ideally the client would prefer a degree in IS or Medical but technically any degree will do. The client would also like this person to accept a salary of $85,000 and be willing to relocate to their area.
Since Epic severely restricts Epic certified consultants and their clients with their Non-Compete clauses - and the need in the market place for Epic qualified consultants is so deep, just finding someone with the desired Epic experience will be a challenge. Add on to that the challenge of finding a consultant that would be willing to take a permanent role and relocate with a salary that is well below what they could make as an independent consultant or an employee of a consulting firm the likelihood of filling this position quickly is very slim. As luck would have it, the recruiter finds a candidate with 15 years of Healthcare IT / EMR Implementation experience and over 5 years of Epic Optime experience including the required certifications. This candidate comes highly recommended from a well respected IT Director and the candidate is excited about the idea of moving to the specified location so they're open to considering the pay rate. However, after reviewing the candidate's resume the client immediately declines the candidate due to lack of degree. They tell the recruiter that "it's a deal breaker".
These situations leave me scratching my head. Does the client not have a firm understanding of the industry? If anyone has an answer, I'd love to be clued in. In the current climate - thinking "outside the box" is a huge benefit. The clients that are open to considering highly qualified individuals that do not carry a degree, or providing a competitive salary or being open to allowing a new hire to travel on site and/or work remotely as opposed to having to relocate are the clients that have a high rate of successful placements and can boast very low turn-over rates.
As always your thoughts and opinions are appreciated!
(additional note - this week I had a professional candidate with over 25 years of Director and Project Management experience over both large and small HIS implementations - along with a clinical degree get passed over for a permanent Project Management role because he lacked a PMP certification. Also take into account that this candidate was willing to accept the salary range AND was in the process of relocating to the city in which the hospital system was located. The candidate had stated to me that he was willing to immediately obtain his PMP certification upon hire - and I made that clear in email to the client but they wouldn't speak with him. This position has been open for months - still speechless)
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